Houlihan Lokey Advises Hygiena

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that EW GROUP, a German strategic holding company in the field of animal breeding, health, nutrition, and diagnostics, announced the acquisition of Hygiena, a leader in food safety and environmental testing solutions and a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus. The transaction closed on March 16, 2021.

Hygiena, headquartered in Camarillo, California, with nine locations around the world, develops, manufactures, and distributes food safety and environmental diagnostic solutions. The products are sold in over 100 countries to more than 10,000 customers. For two decades, Hygiena has been committed to providing accurate and easy-to-use-diagnostic tests, supported by the most knowledgeable technical service teams in the industry.

“We have always been committed to providing the best-in-class diagnostics and customer support around the world. This new partnership with EW GROUP will accelerate our growth, enhance our global capabilities, and expand our portfolio of products for our customers,” said Steven Nason, CEO of Hygiena. “I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome for Hygiena and our Hygiena team. We are so excited to continue our mission within EW GROUP and look forward to joining forces with the BioChek and Biotecon teams. Warburg Pincus has been an amazing partner in our journey over the past four and a half years. I would like to thank them for their close partnership, invaluable contribution and strategic insight.”

The newly formed group of companies—under the Hygiena umbrella—will include BioChek, a global veterinary diagnostic company, as well as Biotecon, an innovator in PCR, GMO, ID, and environmental diagnostics. Both companies are subsidiaries of the EW GROUP, expanding Hygiena’s food safety portfolio with attractive molecular diagnostic capabilities, sample preparation, as well as the veterinary diagnostic field.

“We are extremely excited about welcoming Hygiena to EW GROUP. Due to the outstanding leadership of Steve Nason and his team, Hygiena has become a leading player in the food and environmental testing space,” commented Jan and Dirk Wesjohann, both Managing Directors at EW GROUP. “We are convinced that the combination of Hygiena with our existing diagnostic activities will create a basis for substantial future growth.”

Thomas Struckmeyer, CEO of BioChek and Biotecon, is also enthusiastic: “With this acquisition and through the synergetic combination with our existing diagnostics businesses, we will create a leading player in food and veterinary diagnostics, providing a true ‘One Health’ approach from ‘Farm to Fork’ to the benefit of our global customer base.”

As part of the partnership, EW GROUP and Hygiena are committed (based on the EW GROUP principles) to invest in new technologies, R&D, and international structures. Technical expertise will be leveraged among the companies to develop new products in diagnostics, accelerate development, and further improve data interpretation and management software capabilities.

“We are excited for Hygiena’s next chapter of growth and know that they will continue to thrive in combination with EW GROUP, a partner that shares the same values, ensures a positive future for the entire Hygiena team and lays the foundation for an excellent outlook for future business development,” adds Stephanie Geveda of Warburg Pincus.

Hygiena is a leader in rapid diagnostic solutions in the food & beverage, healthcare, pharmaceutical, water and other hygiene-focused end-markets. Hygiena’s mission is focused on protecting people and products by delivering technologies that promote hygiene, sanitation and product safety.

EW GROUP is a strategic holding company based in Germany. The activities of EW GROUP are comprised of the business areas of poultry and aqua breeding, as well as animal health, nutrition, and diagnostics (BioChek & Biotecon). EW GROUP operates 165 subsidiaries in 45 countries worldwide, employing over 15,000 team members.

Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $58 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 195 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector, and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 19 private equity funds, which have invested more than $89 billion in over 920 companies in more than 40 countries. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Mauritius, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Houlihan Lokey served as the financial advisor and assisted in marketing, structuring, and negotiating the transaction on behalf of Hygiena and Warburg Pincus. This deal exemplifies the continued preeminence of Houlihan Lokey’s position advising on market-making food safety transactions.

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